Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords

My sister and I had both endured incredibly long flights to Bergen, Norway, and we were both exhausted by the time we landed at around 2 PM local time. As soon as we arrived, we headed to the Hertz car rental center inside the airport to pick up our rental car. Renting a car was the most practical option for us, as we had planned to visit multiple cities to see fjords located hours away from each other during our trip, and we didn’t want to be confined to a bus schedule since we only had three days in the fjords. Once we picked up our rental car, we drove to Bergen and headed straight to a traditional Norwegian restaurant for some authentic Norwegian cuisine. The food was plain and simple, but filling. Afterward, we spent some time exploring different sights in Bergen. We walked to Bryggen, the harbourfront, and checked out the outdoor food market near there. We also climbed the steps to Johanneskirken, or St. John’s Church, which was built between 1891-1894 and is the largest church in Bergen. Because the city wasn’t very large, we were able to walk around most of it in the time we spent there.

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

Next, we drove to the Edward Grieg museum, located 10 km outside of Bergen city centre. Edward Grieg is a composer and pianist who heavily influenced my sister’s music career. The museum was located in the first building you come across as you approach the site, but you can also visit the actual house Edvard Grieg lived in and walk around the courtyard surrounding his house. We spent some time exploring the area outside of his house and found a path leading to the fjord behind his house, which was a breathtaking sight. 

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

**As a side note about driving, Bergen has many roundabouts on their roads, which was very confusing for us at first, especially since we had not researched driving rules in advance. We had a hard time figuring out when it was our turn to go through the roundabout, and the cars drove relatively quickly. We were also caught in a dangerous situation when we couldn’t control the windshield while going through a heavily precipitated tunnel, so we highly recommend reading up on country-specific driving rules and familiarizing yourself with your rental car before visiting any new country! You can find Norway driving rules here.**

After going to the museum, we began our three hour drive to our accommodation in Odda. Since our trip was in July, we were fortunate to experience longer daylight hours, which means more opportunities to see the sights. It usually didn’t start to get dark until 10-11 PM. Thus, when we drove to Odda in the evening, we were still able to see the scenery around us. We ended up stopping numerous times at observation spots along the way for waterfalls, fjords, escarpments, and more. The most notable sight along this drive was Latefossen, a large waterfall that seemed to crash down right onto the road. There is a tunnel running underneath the road where the water escapes to and continues to flow out on the other side of the road.

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

One thing we didn’t realize on our drive from Bergen to Odda was that we would have to take a car ferry across a fjord to reach Odda, which would save us an additional three hour detour around the fjord. The ferry doesn’t run very frequently, depending on the season and on the weather, so make sure you check the ferry schedule ahead of time. You do not need to book your ticket in advance, as there will be an attendant walking around with a credit card machine collecting payment once you arrive on the boat. You can either remain sitting in your car the whole way, or you can get out and walk around the inside of the boat, use the restrooms, or walk to the upper deck where you’ll find the beautiful view below. Luckily, we made it onto the ferry on its last run across the fjord that day, just in time to experience some sunset views over the water.

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

Our accommodation was in a small village at the base of the fjord. We stayed in an Airbnb that could be reached by driving up a winding hill with narrow streets and densely built houses. Our destination was the Aplagarden 23 hosted by Linda Helene, and we would highly recommend staying there. We were given clear and specific instructions for how to enter the house and had no issues with this system throughout our stay there. The house was clean, the rooms were adequately prepared for guests, and we were given use of the kitchen and living areas.

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

We had initially planned to hike Trolltunga the next day, but we decided to delay it by a day due to bad weather forecasts. Instead, we attempted a shorter hike to the Buarbreen glacier, located 7-8 km from Odda city centre. The hike would typically have taken a few hours, but we cut our hike short when we realized that we wouldn’t be able to reach the glacier because the heavy rain had created a river that would be inaccessible to us in the clothes we were wearing. Thus we hiked for only about two hours, but we still got close enough to the glaciers that we were able to get a good view of it. After this hike, we realized that proper hiking shoes and water resistant clothing are integral to a fun and safe hike, particularly one like Trolltunga, where we would be out on the trails the entire day. Thus, we spent the rest of the day preparing for our hike to Trolltunga by purchasing water resistant clothing, hiking boots, and making enough sandwiches to sustain us on our long hike the following day.

READ MORE: Hiking Buarbreen: A Journey to the Glaciers

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

Early the next morning, we set out on our adventure to hike Trolltunga. I won’t go into detail about the hike in this post but check out our Tips for Hiking Trolltunga post for information regarding that. Our entire next day was spent on the hike from approximately 6 AM, when we left the house, to 5 PM, when we got back into the car. After the hike, we had planned to stop by Voss, another scenic fjord, but because Trolltunga took longer than we had anticipated and because we were both exhausted, we decided not to stop in Voss. We instead took the 2.5-hour drive to our next location, Gudvangen, which also included a ferry ride similar to the one we took to Odda. 

READ MORE: Tips for Hiking Trolltunga

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

In Gudvangen, we stayed at the Gudvangen Fjordtell. There was one main building where we checked in, and then we were directed to a house around a three minute walk away. The fjordtell was essentially a collection of houses with showers on the main floor and rooms throughout the rest of the floors. It was similar to living in a dorm, and we would not necessarily stay there again if we returned to Gudvangen as it wasn’t as cozy as we’d imagined it would be.

The next morning, we woke up early to drive back to Bergen, return the car, and catch our train to Oslo. The train ride from Bergen to Oslo has been ranked as one of the most scenic in Europe, and it definitely lived up to its reputation. The train route took 34 years to complete from 1875 to 1909 and cuts through some of the roughest terrain in Norway. It provides riders with a little under seven hours to appreciate the magnificence of the hostile and otherwise inaccessible terrains of Norway, and it cost 649 Norwegian Krone (or roughly $80 USD) for a one way trip. This was a bit costly, but we would still recommend it due to the smooth ride we had and the beautiful views we saw.

Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords | MVMT Blog

This marked the end of our three days in the Norwegian fjords, as we continued our journey into Oslo. Check out our 24 Hours in Oslo post for more information about our time there!

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Author: Hope Chen

Student at the University of Michigan with an insatiable desire to travel. I blog about budget travel for students, my spontaneous adventures, and occasionally an outburst about global politics as it relates to travel. Currently interning in Berlin and falling in love with the city!

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27 thoughts on “Three Days in the Norwegian Fjords

  1. I so want to go and do what you lovely ladies did in the Norwegian fjords! I would love to drive around with a car and then spend days hiking in the wild! Loving all the photos too and the waterfall looks mad, disappearing just before it hits the road! Thanks for the tip to bring proper hiking boots and waterproof clothing! I’ll be pinning this for the future!

  2. These pictures are definitely making me want to see Norway! Your tips are great and I’ll definitely save them for when I get around to doing a Europe trip 🙂 Seems like a great adventure travel destination!

  3. Visiting the Norwegian fjords is in my travel top five – and your photos and experience might make it rank all the way at the top! I’m amazed that you were able to do as much as you did in three days, especially with Trolltunga being an entire day of hiking. The train ride sounds fabulous, and as you said, seems like a great way to see the unspoiled terrain. Great post!

  4. Spectacular scenery and you have captured it so well. You really lucked out making that last ferry and getting the sunset views. Trolltunga looks amazing but it just scares me lol

    1. I can’t imagine what we’d have done if we missed it ? Trolltunga is definitely something I’d recommend training for unless you’re already an athlete or hiker, but it was an experience that I will never forget

  5. OMG is the jump photo real? It looks unbelievable! Of course, that’s a huge compliment to you, lovely ladies. I really admire you how you made a whole 11 hours hike, I am usually exhausted after six hours only. But you know, the way you presented Norway makes me pack my bags and go.

    1. Yes it is real! I was really happy with how it turned out too since we couldn’t see the pictures until after the jump. I’m not naturally athletic and had never dreamed of hiking 11 hours before, but when you’re put in a situation like that, you don’t have much choice but to keep going!

  6. Loving the architecture in Norway (in your first pic and that cute little house)! Latefossen does look like it could engulf the road at any time – amazing! The landscape in Norway is incredible – I hope to make it to that part of the world soon. Thanks for sharing your road trip!

    1. We hadn’t actually intended to go to Latefossen and saw it when driving to one of our destinations! It was remarkable how it was located in the middle of the road and had only a few spots for people to stop and sightsee. Thank you for the comment!

  7. Seen a lot of pictures of Bergen recently and it looks like a lovely place but my god, the fjords look spectacular. My dream is to wild camp across Scandinavia one day, the weather looks a little temperamental but such a beautiful place! Definitely agree that taking public transport is sometimes limiting, its the main reason why I’m so determined to get a car!

  8. I always prefer renting a car, so will definitely do that when we head to Norway. It’s great to know Bergan can be seen in a day, really helps with planning so thank you! Your pictures from the boat are stunning. You sure did pack a lot of things in three days!

  9. I loved the Norwegian Fjords. They are spectacular, the air is fresh, and the views are unreal. Nature certainly was nice to Norway. I did a cruise within the fjords when I was there and it was such a special experience being surrounded by such magnificence.

  10. I love Bergen. I actually lived there for almost one year, six years ago. It’s quite a rainy city all year long, but still beautiful! Looks like you had a great time there. I miss the city now looking at your photos 🙂

  11. Sounds like it was quite the trip. Really appreciate your tips I’m driving as well as the weather, looks like it’s really important to be prepared for anything, especially rain 🙂 Did you find the hiking to be more or less strenuous in relation to other destinations you have visited?

  12. It looks great, I am planning on going to Norway next summer. I want to do the hike to Trolltunga as the views look amazing, and to get my picture there would be amazing. Looking forward to reading your next bit on Oslo 🙂

    1. You will love it, Clare! The one thing I will say about Trolltunga is please be prepared! The weather there can be sunny and warm one minute and rainy and cold the next! You really need to dress for all weather, even in the summer. And I would recommend training too, if you’re not used to doing long hikes regularly. Be sure to check out our post specifically on Trolltunga for more tips. Stay safe & have fun! 🙂

  13. Wow, there’re a few spots in Norway that I want to see that are mentioned in your post, especially that waterfall that cuts under the road! So in love. What a wonderful adventure you sisters had within 3 days!

    1. Thanks, Kristine! We’ve seen a lot of waterfalls around the world in beautiful places like Iceland, the Faroe Islands, etc., but the waterfall we saw on this trip (Låtefossen) was unlike any other we’ve seen. I really did think for a second that the water was falling into the road and we wouldn’t be able to drive across at first! Hope you get to visit soon – it’s the perfect summer trip. 🙂

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